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I apologize for keeping you all in suspense, so without further ado, I present our daughter, Nina Adele. She was eight pounds, 7 ounces and 20” long at birth.

Since it’s 2:45 and my thoughts aren’t very coherent right now, I’m going with a bullet point post of what’s going on with us right now.

Nina’s birth experience was simultaneously one of the worst and best experiences of my life. As much as I tried to focus on how excited and happy I was to meet her, my emotions got the best of me as they prepped me for the spinal. I’m sure that a lot of it was just fear of the surgery itself, but I found myself totally emotionally overwhelmed by the fact that my husband was not allowed into the surgery room until I was completely prepped for surgery. We went through so much together to get to Nina’s birthday, and it felt completely wrong that he was not able to be there for me when I was scared and nervous. I was in tears by the time he was finally allowed in the room and he said his wait to be with me was agonizing as well. Of course the fear, tears and nerves were all quickly forgotten when we heard those first cries from our baby girl.

Apparently she must have taken her “larger than expected” birth weight personally and has been dropping ounces like no one’s business. By her second evening, she was down over a pound to seven pounds, five ounces, which earned her a “baby milkshake” with every meal. She gets 15 cc’s of formula with every feeding and at her weigh in today she was up to seven pounds, seven ounces, so we’re moving in the right direction at least.

I learned to listen to the doctors and nurses when they tell you not to “get behind the pain.” Due to some circumstances that would take way too long to type out, I was late taking my meds by a couple of hours on the day we were discharged. Bad mistake. Bad, bad, bad mistake. Don’t let it happen to you.

I love Target’s Gilligan & O’Malley nursing tanks. LOVE THEM. I know so many women who recommend just staying in the hospital gown until you go home because they’re “so easy” to nurse in and I absolutely could not disagree more. I knew the second I tried nursing Nina in the hospital gown that I wanted out of it as soon as possible. I put one of these tanks on the second my IV was out and I have been living in them ever since. They are so comfortable and perfect for nursing and I literally cannot get enough of them (we’ve been back to Target twice in the two days since we’ve been discharged to buy more).

My recovery from surgery has not been anywhere near as bad as I thought it would be, which is such a pleasant surprise. The meds I was given in my PCA seemed to make me pretty nauseous, so I stopped using those pretty quickly and was happy to find that I still felt really good pain wise. I’ve been trying to be pretty active, though not too active and so far so good. I’m really, really happy with how much I’ve been able to do following surgery.

I love being a mom. Nothing is better. I walked into the living room today to find my husband lying on his back with Nina on his chest doing skin-to-skin contact and I immediately started tearing up. He didn’t understand that my tears were tears of joy and I couldn’t seem to put into words what was going through my mind. I just kept saying “she’s ours, we get to keep her” and “we’re so lucky” over and over again. This perfect little being is our daughter. I would wait for her over and over and over again.

There is so much more to say, but the little one is due for a feeding any second now, so I’ll leave you with a few pictures to hold you over until next time.

Before:

40 weeks!

After:

Our baby girl arrived at 11:10 am today and is simply perfect.  She weighed 8 pounds and 7 ounces.  We still have not decided on a name, but I’m fairly certain we will figure it out tomorrow! More details to follow soon…

Well, I’m less than 24 hours away from holding my little girl in my arms. I can’t honestly believe that the time is nearly here. While this pregnancy has seemed to absolutely creep by and I feel like I’ve been pregnant for years already, I still can’t come to terms with the fact that we will have a baby tomorrow. Wow. Words can’t really explain what I feel like right now, so instead I will leave you with some photos from my shower, my ginormous belly at 39 weeks and our little girl’s room. Next time I post, I will be a mommy! 

The "baby" I made and had to make sure to take care of during the shower

My big ole belly with my "baby" and all of the pins I stole from other people who said the word "baby"

The adorable cake
 

 

Me with one of my friends. I picked this photo because it shows two things. 1. I have since lost all of the pins I stole from others since I couldn't stop saying "baby" and 2. The Very Hungry Caterpillar hung on the window behind us.

Looks like a hungry caterpillar has already been here...

Holy cow, I'm huge!!!

The quilt that inspired her room...and a good chunk of her wardrobe

Her crib, the butterflies my friend made for the shower, and the Very Hungry Caterpillar himself

The big, beautiful butterfly and lots of baby stuff


The third trimester was not nearly as “bad” as I had imagined it would be. There was no magical switch that went on at 27 weeks that made me tired and miserable. The one thing that did notice around that time was the beginning of daily heartburn, which as I mentioned yesterday, was eventually solved by Ranitidine. My only complaints so far have been the SPD, which has only been bad for the past couple of weeks, and the fact that my little girl is pretty fond of wedging her big ole head in my right ribs. Oh, and over the course of the last week or so, I’ve had some pretty painful contractions that wake me up at night…those I could live without as well. But for the most part, the third trimester has been nearly as enjoyable as the second. Yes, I get tired easier and it’s hard to pick up things that I drop on the ground, but I would trade those things any day to feel all of the movements my little girls is making inside of me. As her space to wiggle around freely dwindles, the movements I feel are so much more magnified. It’s absolutely amazing to feel and see her cram her head as far out my right side as she can.

I have had an absolute ball putting our daughter’s room together. My mother-in-law made us an absolutely amazing Very Hungry Caterpillar quilt before she even knew that we were pregnant, and after much effort, I was able to convince my husband that the quilt should be the inspiration for her room. It’s not babyish and is definitely something she can grow into and use for a while. More importantly, while the Very Hungry Caterpillar is a branded image, it is not an “in your face” kind of brand like the Disney Princesses theme that he wanted to go with. If our daughter grows up and decides that she loves the Disney Princesses more than anything in the world, I’ll deal with it then. I just don’t feel like we need to be forcing the Disney brand down her throat from the moment she is born. Plus I’m not a huge fan of pink, and if my husband had his way, her nursery would be pink with big Disney wall decals all over the room. No thank you. Winning the nursery theme “battle” was a huge victory for me, and I could not be happier with how it turned out thanks to a good chunk of hard work by my parents (painting, sewing and hanging). I think my husband is quite pleased with it too, as well he should be…the reason my mother-in-law picked The Very Hungry Caterpillar for the quilt is because it was my husband’s favorite book when he was a kid.

I also had a fantastic time at my baby shower. The girls who threw it for me definitely went above and beyond and I was blown away by all that they did. They knew that the nursery was going to have The Very Hungry Caterpillar theme, so they took the theme and ran with it. The invites were official Eric Carle Very Hungry Caterpillar invites, with the caterpillar positioned prominently on the front. The hostess’ house was decorated with flowers, caterpillars and butterflies everywhere. There was a platter of food with holes carved out of each piece to resemble the food in the book as he ate through each item. There were cupcakes frosted and strategically placed to look just like the caterpillar in the book. There were games and prizes galore. And the gifts, oh the gifts. Everyone was so generous, it was such a fantastic feeling to know this baby is so highly anticipated and will be welcomed by all who were in attendance. It was an absolutely wonderful day and I could not have asked for more.

On the flip side, there have been a few disappointments to deal with too. The biggest disappointment, of course comes from her positioning. At 32 weeks we went in for our “big ultrasound” and were disappointed to find that we wouldn’t get the 3D sneak peek at her that we were expecting since she was facing my back. This was only a small disappointment because as cool as it would be to have a preview of what she looks like, the thought of seeing her for the very first time when she’s born is just awesome. The anticipation of wondering what she’ll look like is one of the few surprises that we have left since we already know that she is a girl.

Of course the bigger problem was discovering that she was breech, which really didn’t alarm me at first. I figured that at 32 weeks, she would have plenty of time to turn. Even at 34 weeks when we tried to do the 3D again and she was found to be transverse, it didn’t really click with me that it could be a problem down the road. It wasn’t until the doctors started talking about doing the version and scheduling a c-section that it hit me that this was, in fact, a very serious issue if I had any hopes of a vaginal delivery. The enormous disappointment of the failed ECV and subsequent scheduling of her birth hit me harder than I ever thought that it would. The past two and a half weeks have allowed me to come to some sort of terms with the entire situation though, and I am so glad that we pushed back on scheduling her birth at 40 weeks instead of 39. Nothing about her birth will be as I envisioned it, but that makes it no less special or miraculous.

I am also slightly disappointed that her positioning has meant that I haven’t been able to experience a lot of the movements that I so looked forward to feeling and seeing. I love watching my right side expand and contract as she pushes her head in and out of my belly, but I do feel pangs of loss for the movements that I will never see or feel because of how she’s been situated. The consistent pattern of her movements and kicks leads me to believe that she has always been in some variation of transverse or breech positioning, and I’m 99% certain that she’s had her back towards my front the entire time. She’s also been frank breech (in the pike position with her feet by her head) every time we’ve seen her, so I’d assume that she’s been like that nearly the entire time as well. Those things mean that I’ve never been kicked in the ribs, or punched in the stomach. I’ve never felt her hiccups on my cervix as I would have if she had been head down. I’ve never really felt much movement at all on my left side since the only thing that’s over there is her butt. I’ve never seen a hand or foot pressing out of my stomach, nor has my entire belly danced with a back flip or complete change of position.

Even though I mourn the belly movements I will likely never see and the vaginal birth I will likely never have, I know that I am so incredibly blessed to be where I am. Today I am 39 ½ weeks pregnant, a place that I never thought I would be. I never expected to see the white flicker of a heartbeat inside of my own body. I never dreamed that I would ever be lucky enough to endure the constant fears of the first trimester. I never allowed myself to believe that one day I would feel those kicks and hiccups and head mashing. I didn’t think it would be possible that I could be so close to giving birth to our daughter.

The last 3 months have been quite a ride, one I wouldn’t miss out on for anything in the world. We are just one short day away from meeting our daughter and we couldn’t be more excited.


I wanted to take a moment to introduce you to some new friends I’ve made during the past 8 1/2 months. Maybe you can become friends with them too, they sure were good to me!

Craigslist is my friend. I’ve found so many great things on Craigslist, let’s start with maternity clothes. I am so incredibly frugal, it was hard for me even consider paying the exorbitant prices that stores wanted for clothes that would be worn for less than six months. I turned to Craigslist and found loads and loads of great clothes for just a fraction of what I would have paid at full price, some things for only a dollar or two a piece. Buying the majority of my clothes on Craigslist at huge discounts (and of great quality, I might add), made me feel better about buying just a few things at retail sale prices when I needed to or wanted to. I have bought very few items new and don’t feel like I missed out on anything by doing so. Plus, it helped us to save some money that can go towards the IVF bills that we’re still paying off. But Craigslist isn’t only good for maternity clothes. I bought a couple of cloth diapers off of Craigslist, one of them used only a couple of times, and one of them brand new, for less than half of retail prices. Even the co-sleeper that my parents bought us came from Craiglist (at my insistence) at a steep, steep savings. There are so many great things to be had on Craigslist, I feel somewhat guilty when we buy or are given things that are brand new. In fact, Craigslist made registering for baby items really, really difficult for me. It was hard to scan a brand new Bumbo and play tray for nearly $50 when I knew I could pick one up a used one in great condition on Craigslist for $25. It was hard for me to open the $70 swing my sister bought us knowing that I could likely find one for $30 or less on Craigslist. So many of the “necessities” are just not used for very long and it seems like such a waste to invest in for the short period of time that they will actually be used, if used at all. I will definitely be turning to Craigslist again when it comes time to buy the bigger baby things, like exersaucers and high chairs. Craigslist is my friend.

Ranitidine is my friend. For a long time I dealt with the heartburn reactively, popping Tums when I needed them. Then a girl in my birthing class told me how great the over the counter acid reducers worked for her. My husband had been pushing me to try them for a while (he takes acid reducing medicine on a daily basis), so with the two of them giving such glowing recommendations, and with my OB’s approval, I took the plunge. Oh how I love you, Ranitidine. This stuff completely eliminated all of my discomfort and any need for Tums completely. About a week and a half ago, I ran out. I decided to make sure that it was safe for breastfeeding before buying more and discovered that it wasn’t as safe as other medications like generic Tagamet. So sadly I said my farewells to Ranitidine and picked up a package of Tagamet instead. Oh Ranitidine, how I miss you. The Tagamet is far better than nothing at all, but definitely does not hold a candle to my beloved Ranitidine. If you are struggling to keep your heartburn under control, I cannot recommend Ranitidine enough. Ranitidine is my friend.

The swimming pool is my friend. Way back when my friend Jill miraculously got pregnant on her own after two IVF pregnancies that ended in miscarriage, she started going to a prenatal exercise class. It was both land and water based, but she really appreciated the water part of the class the most and talked often about how great she thought it was. Of course I fully intended on taking said class once I finally got knocked up, but like most things I fully intended on doing once I finally got knocked up, it just didn’t happen. It wasn’t until 22 weeks that I got in the pool for the first time and that was just a quick swim during an overnight hotel stay. It was heavenly though, and definitely served as a reminder that I wanted to sign up for the prenatal exercise class. Of course I completely forgot about it and didn’t go swimming again until we visited my in-laws in Florida at 29 weeks. I remember thinking to myself how I MUST sign up for the class when I got back into town, which of course I never did. I was 36 weeks when my chiropractor asked if I’d been swimming to help turn the baby that I finally got back in the pool again. The pool is divine. The pool takes away all of the extra weight and the result is heavenly. To just be able to float without all of the pressure and compression felt on land is a feeling unlike anything else. The pool let me once again move my body without feeling as though all of my muscles were completely atrophied. I felt like a regular woman again, despite the enormous belly I was sporting. A leisurely float in the pool, enjoying the water sliding across my body…the pool is definitely my friend.

Yup, I’ve consulted Dr. Google and diagnosed myself as having SPD. I’d never even heard of SPD before Existere was afflicted with a particularly horrifying case of it, so I’ll assume that unless you’ve suffered from it yourself, you probably don’t know what it is either. Simply put, SPD is pain in the pubic area, attributed to both high levels of the hormone relaxin and also misalignment of the pelvic structure. I remember reading her blog and hoping that I would never have to endure any kind of hell similar to that. Well, in no way does my seemingly minor case of SPD even begin to compare, but it is pretty darn painful nonetheless. In my case, only my left side seems to have the problem, which I guess makes sense since my baby girl is lying so awkwardly in my belly. Her butt is typically down near my left hip, so I suppose it puts some extra strain in that area.

I first started noticing the pain around 34 weeks. It was nothing serious, just some pain that seemed to creep up particularly at bedtime and while trying to put my pants on. Gradually I noticed it at other times of the day as well, like taking off my shoes or getting in and out of the car. Currently, it is absolutely at its worst when I want to roll over in bed from one side to the other. The pain is excruciating and I feel like my left leg may literally just snap right off of my body. It’s progressed to the point now where walking is taking a toll on me as well.

I’ve finally adopted the pregnant lady waddle. Not because there is a little baby sitting low in my pelvis, for I assure you that is not the case. I have no pressure of a little head wedging itself lower and lower, no sensation of a bowling ball in my crotch. No, instead I just have an intense pain on the left side of my groin, which seems to be eased only by adopting a slight waddle when I walk.

My chiropractor is doing what she can to help the situation, but it really doesn’t seem to be improving any. Perhaps maintaining the status quo should be the goal, rather than reducing the current level of pain. That seems a much more achievable goal at this point.

Part of me thinks that had I simply taken the advised section at 39 weeks, I’d have only 2 more days of pain to endure (until a whole new pain takes over, that is). Then I remember what a blessing this little girl is and how I would do anything for her. This pain is temporary and it’s for the best that she stays inside of me and grows nice and big for as long as she can. Having said that, the official countdown is on…only 9 more full days until we meet our little girl!

Thank you, lovely ladies, for all of your kind words and suggestions on our current situation. I continue to do everything thing that I can to encourage our little one to move, though it doesn’t seem to be doing a whole lot. She does seem to have a bigger range of motion now than she did before, so I suppose it’s possible that she could still turn, but I can tell that she is getting even more cramped in there than before. Even so, I continue on with the chiropractic, acupuncture, reiki, swimming, crawling, inversions, etc, while at the same time bringing myself to terms with the fact that she will likely be born via c-section.

And speaking of c-sections, at my appointment last week, we discussed with one of the doctors exactly why they schedule breech sections for 39 weeks. He gave me some pretty weak answers, answers that definitely did not convince me of any medical need for her to be born early. I tried to push for a later date, but he wasn’t really interested in talking about it with me. He suggested that I go ahead and schedule my pre-op with the doctor who would be delivering her (if we went with the scheduled Feb 11th section), and we could talk it out with her.

So that’s what we did yesterday. We met with her and I asked her what the harm in waiting to go into labor naturally would be. She provided the same list of reasons as the previous doctor, again, reasons that I don’t feel carry a whole lot of weight. So I (tearfully) explained to her that this is likely going to be the only baby that I carry and have an opportunity to birth myself and I wanted to experience as much of a vaginal birthing process as I could. She flat out asked me why, as if I was a crazy woman for wanting to experience labor and contractions. I explained that for all we’d been through to get to this point, I wanted as much of the whole package as possible. I may seem like a lunatic for wanting to experience the pain of labor, but it’s still something that I looked forward to long before we even tried to get pregnant. And I know that she will probably never understand my position, but that’s how I feel and I’m entitled to my opinion.

My waterworks did little to change her mind. So I asked her that what happens if we agree to disagree on this point? Her response was that we should probably talk about transfer of care. My jaw dropped in disbelief. I questioned her, asking that just because I didn’t want to be sectioned at 39 weeks they were going to drop me just like that? She said “well, I don’t know of any OB’s in the area that will even let you attempt a vaginal breech birth.”

Whoa. Hold up. I have absolutely no interest whatsoever in a vaginal breech birth. None. I know it can be done perfectly safely, and is done routinely in countries all over the world with better success rates than one would ever imagine, but that’s just not something that I personally am interested in. Not at all. And I told her as much. I told her that all I want to do is be able to experience a tiny bit of labor.

She questioned me as to where we would draw the line as to how much labor was enough? She didn’t want me showing up at the hospital at 8cm dilated and have me “crash and need an emergency c-section.” I told her that I’m not at all interested in laboring with this baby for any sustained period of time, I just want to experience a little bit of it. In my mind, I was thinking that we’d wait until I knew that I was in labor, and then head to the hospital. I have absolutely no intentions of trying “cheat the system” by showing up dilated with a breech baby. I just want a taste.

So we compromised. She agreed to schedule the section for 40 weeks and I agreed that I would not eat or drink anything if I were to spontaneously go into labor before that point. I am to call them after contractions are established at 5/1/1 and then we would go in for the section. I will also be checked at each appointment to make sure that I’m not dilating to an unreasonable level, which would put me at an increased risk for a cord prolapsed. Neither the baby’s head nor butt is anywhere near my pelvis, so my cervix is still long and closed and I don’t really see that changing at all since she seems pretty comfortable right where she is.

To be honest, I really don’t have much faith that I will go into labor on my own prior to 40 weeks, so the scheduled section seems to be the most likely scenario. I just wasn’t comfortable with the idea of my daughter being born early with very little medical indication for her to be so. Obviously we are quite certain of the date that she was conceived, so we know that even if she were born at 39 weeks she should be in good health, but a huge part of me still wants to give her as much time to choose her own birth date as possible. Even one more week was a major victory for me. Plus, I’m just not ready to be done being pregnant yet.

So that’s where we’re at. Our daughter will be born no later than February 18th, her exact due date. We are so excited to meet her!

Our History

Dec 2006 - Started trying to conceive
Summer 2007 - Semen analysis (great), progesterone test (normal)
Dec 2007 - SHG normal
Jan 2008 - 1st RE appointment
Feb - Mar 2008 - Diagnosed with elevated FSH levels, 2 rounds of IUI with 5mg of Femara
Apr - Jun 2008 - Seeing a new RE. 3 rounds of IUI with 12.5mg of Femara, all busts. HSG normal
July 2008 - Moving on to IVF at a new clinic
Aug/Sep 2008 - 1st IVF cycle - cancelled due to poor response
Nov/Dec 2008 - Retry IVF, transferred one blast and one morula, negative beta
Feb/Mar 2009 - 2nd IVF cycle - Antagonist protocol
May 2009 - 3rd and final attempt at IVF - Antagonist protocol
Feb 18th, 2010 - our One Small Wish comes true: Nina Adele is born.

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